Virtual Event: Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit - Watch Sessions
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Google Patches Vulnerability in “Google Admin” App for Android

Researchers identified a vulnerability in the Google Admin application for Android that could have been exploited to read arbitrary files from the app’s sandbox. Google says it has released an update to patch the flaw.

Researchers identified a vulnerability in the Google Admin application for Android that could have been exploited to read arbitrary files from the app’s sandbox. Google says it has released an update to patch the flaw.

The Google Admin application for Android is designed to allow administrators to manage their Google for Work accounts from their mobile devices. Admins of Google Apps for Work, Education, Google Coordinate, and Government can use the app to add and manage users, contact support, and view their organization’s audit logs.

Researchers at security firm MWR InfoSecurity discovered a medium severity vulnerability that allows malicious applications installed on the same device as Google Admin to bypass the Android sandbox and read data from any file within Admin’s sandbox.

“An issue was found when the Google Admin application received a URL via an IPC call from any other application on the same device. The Admin application would load this URL in a webview within its own activity. If an attacker used a file:// URL to a file that they controlled, then it is possible to use symbolic links to bypass Same Origin Policy and retrieve data out of the Google Admin sandbox,” MWR InfoSecurity wrote in an advisory published last week.

According to MWR, the flaw was reported to Google in mid-March. The company noted in its advisory that the search giant had not released an update to patch the vulnerability.

However, Google says it has released an update for Google Admin to address the flaw reported by MWR. The company is not aware of any attacks leveraging this security hole.

“We thank the researchers for flagging this to us. We have addressed the issue in the Google Admin app and the fix has been released. In order for this issue to occur, a malicious app would need to be installed on the device. As far as we know, no one has been affected,” a Google spokesperson told SecurityWeek.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Technical details on the vulnerability are available in MWR’s advisory.

Google announced in February that it has expanded its vulnerability reward program to mobile applications developed by the company.

As far as Android is concerned, numerous vulnerabilities have been uncovered in the mobile platform over the past months. The list includes several denial-of-service (DoS) bugs, and some critical issues such as the Stagefright vulnerabilities.

Related Reading: Samsung to Deliver Monthly Over the Air Security Updates for Android

Related Reading: Google to Issue Over The Air Updates to Nexus Devices

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Data Breaches

OpenAI has confirmed a ChatGPT data breach on the same day a security firm reported seeing the use of a component affected by an...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


The latest Chrome update brings patches for eight vulnerabilities, including seven reported by external researchers.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

IoT Security

A group of seven security researchers have discovered numerous vulnerabilities in vehicles from 16 car makers, including bugs that allowed them to control car...

Application Security

Drupal released updates that resolve four vulnerabilities in Drupal core and three plugins.